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Life Without Baby- Infertility

Dr Rishika Agarwal 1360 Views
Updated: 21 Dec 2023
Published: 23 Nov 2023
Life Without Baby- Infertility

Infertility is a common challenge affecting many people across the world. According to a recent report from the World Health Organization (WHO), approximately 1 in 6 adults, or around 17.5% of the global population, experience infertility at some point in their lives. This condition can make it harder to have a baby because the process of conception doesn't work as expected. It's super important to learn infertility awareness and realize that infertility journey is common. This blog will cover all about infertility and ways to cope with infertility.

What is Infertility?

Infertility is a condition where some people can't have a baby. Making a baby involves several steps:

  • Your brain makes particular hormones that control your ovaries.
  • An egg in your ovary has to grow up.
  • The ovary lets the egg go (ovulation).
  • A tube in your body picks up the egg.
  • Sperm must travel from your private parts, through the womb, to the tube.
  • The sperm joins the egg to make a tiny baby.
  • This tiny baby goes from the tube to the womb and sticks there.
  • You can't have a baby if any of these things don't happen.

Types of Infertility

There are different types of infertility:

  1. Primary Infertility: This happens when you've never been pregnant and can't have a baby even after trying for a year (or six months if you're 35 or older) without using birth control.
  2. Secondary Infertility: When you've had a baby before but now you can't get pregnant again, this is called secondary infertility.
  3. Unexplained Infertility: When doctors can't figure out why you can't have a baby even after medical tests, this is called unexplained infertility.

When To See a Doctor?

You don't need to see a doctor unless you've been trying to have a baby for a year.

However, if you're a woman and:

  • You're 35 or older and have tried for six months or more.
  • You're over 40.
  • You have irregular or painful periods or no periods at all.
  • You've dealt with endometriosis or pelvic inflammatory disease.
  • You've had more than one miscarriage.
  • You've had cancer treatments like chemotherapy or radiation.

Men should consult a healthcare professional if they:

  • Have sperm-related issues.
  • Have a history of testicular, prostate, or sexual problems.
  • Have undergone cancer treatments like chemotherapy.
  • Had hernia surgery.
  • Smaller than usual testicles or have swollen veins in the scrotum.
  • Faced infertility issues with a previous partner.
  • Have close relatives with infertility problems.

What Is Infertility Awareness?

Infertility awareness is understanding and acknowledging the challenges people face when trying to have a baby. It's a time to shed light on the emotions that come with fertility issues. Every year, during June, the world comes together to recognize and learn more about infertility as part of World Infertility Awareness Month.

There's a common misunderstanding that infertility is a rare problem. It only affects a small portion of the population. It is not true! Around 48.5 million couples worldwide experience some form of infertility. Infertility doesn't discriminate based on age, race, or background as it can impact anyone.

World Infertility Awareness Month provides a platform to educate people about infertility, its causes, and available treatments. It's an opportunity to offer support to those struggling with their infertility journey. Many couples and individuals dealing with infertility can feel isolated. This awareness month aims to let them know they are not alone.

Coping With Infertility

Here are some practical tips to help you cope with infertility:

  • Face It Together: Understand that infertility is a common issue. It's crucial to tackle it as a team.

  • Educate Yourself: When you know and understand infertility in detail, like its causes and treatments, it gives you a sense of control. It's not just about being a patient. Think yourself as an active part of your treatment team.

  • Seek Support: Don't try to carry this burden on your own. You should not be guilty for anything. Find support and share your experience with those who understand. This support can come from both individual and group settings.

  • Manage Stress: Infertility is inherently stressful, so you must find ways to cope. Practices like meditation, deep breathing, yoga, and joining a support group that focuses on the emotional aspect of infertility work amazingly. They can teach you valuable skills and provide lasting friendships. Also, remember to take care of your physical well-being by exercising, eating right, getting enough rest, and making time for hobbies.

  • Recognize What You Can Control: Part of dealing with stress is knowing what you have control over and don't. You can make decisions about your work assignments, but you can't dictate the results of a treatment cycle. Understanding this distinction is critical.

  • Infertility Is One Piece of the Puzzle: Life continues with ups and downs. Life events, like work demands, family matters, and global events, will also impact your emotions. Remember that infertility is just one part of your life, not the entirety of it.

  • Regularly Reevaluate Your Goals: As you go through the infertility journey, your feelings and goals may change. Sit down as a couple occasionally to discuss what treatments you're willing to consider, how long you want to continue, and whether you're open to exploring other options.

  • Explore Family Building Alternatives: While undergoing treatment, learn about alternative family-building methods, such as adoption or donor gametes. This knowledge can empower you and dispel the idea that these are the "second best" options.

  • Consider Counseling: Counseling isn't just for severe issues. Infertility counseling can guide decision-making, coping skills, information gathering, and emotional healing. Think of it as a valuable resource to help you learn and grow.

Infertility Journey

  • Life without children can be an emotional journey, especially for those who've struggled with infertility. It's not always a choice they've made. Their feelings of sadness and loss are often misunderstood because many assume they've chosen to live without children.

  • Society gives a lot of priority on having children, especially for women. People who don't have children, not by choice, are sometimes overlooked. But accepting a childless life is a step towards finding peace.

  • If you're on an infertility journey, it can help to connect with others who understand and give yourself and your partner the space to cope with these emotions. You can also explore resources that offer building emotional strength and well-being strategies.

  • Note: We use the term "childfree" in this resource based on a survey of over 400 women who are childless, not by choice. The survey showed that 55% preferred "childfree," while 45% preferred "childless." We aim to use the most accepted term by the group being described.

10 Natural Ways to Boost Male Fertility

Here are some ways to help male fertility:

  • D-Aspartic Acid: D-Aspartic Acid supplements improve fertility by increasing testosterone levels. It can boost sperm count and motility in men with low testosterone.

  • Regular Exercise: Regular exercise can enhance testosterone levels and improve fertility. However, excessive exercise can cause the opposite effect, so balance is vital.

  • Vitamin C: Vitamin C is an antioxidant that helps counterbalance the harmful effects of oxidative stress on fertility. It also improves semen quality.

  • Stress Management: Reducing stress positively impacts fertility because stress raises cortisol and lowers testosterone. Thus, relaxation techniques, like meditation or exercise, can help.

  • Vitamin D: Vitamin D deficiency leads to low testosterone levels. Taking vitamin D supplements help increase testosterone.

  • Tribulus Terrestris: This medicinal herb enhance male fertility by improving libido. Libido is known for boosting erectile function and sexual desire.

  • Fenugreek: Fenugreek supplements have been linked to increased testosterone levels, strength, and libido. They improve sexual performance.

  • Zinc: Zinc is essential for male fertility. It's linked to testosterone levels and sperm quality. You can take zinc supplements in case of deficiency.

  • Ashwagandha: This medicinal herb could improve fertility by increasing testosterone levels. It is also beneficial for sperm counts and motility.

  • Maca Root: Maca root supplements enhance libido, sexual performance, and fertility. Those who deal with erectile dysfunction and low sperm count can include maca root in diet.

Conclusion

Infertility is a challenging and emotional journey that affects both men and women. One must be aware of this issue, especially during World Infertility Awareness Month in June. We should aim to offer support and understanding to those struggling. Coping with infertility involves acknowledging it as a shared problem, educating yourself, seeking support, and managing stress. Not to forget that infertility is just one part of life's journey!

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